Writing a Review

Writing a review is an evaluation of something. Writing a review puts you in a privileged position - your readers really want to know what you think about something. Whether they decide to read the book, watch the film, or buy the product is dependent on the overall impression you give. To write a review well, you need to sound like someone people can trust - you only have to read some of the badly-written book reviews on some websites to see how important the writer's tone is.

Test yourself on the genre by trying this quiz.

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  1. Reviews are NOT written about which of the following?
    New products, holidays, airlines, games, theatre performances and exhibitions all have reviews written about them
  2. Which of the following best describes the style of a review?
    A good review balances the need to sound like someone whose opinion should be trusted (authoritative), while also sounding like someone whose opinion matters, like that of a friend (informal)
  3. A review will use which of the following?
    A review will include sentences such as:  'I was utterly disappointed in the mushroom risotto - you would do better to avoid it' or 'The chef prepared her trademark chocolate roulade, which the waiter recommended I try accompanied by a double espresso.'  Most reviews use first and third person; many use second person, as well
  4. Which of the following would be out of place in a restaurant review?
    Reviews are a mixture of factual information, a recount of the reviewer's own experience, the reviewer's opinions and a recommendation to the reader
  5. What is the purpose of a film review?
  6. Which factual information would be included in a film review?
    Film and book reviews should never describe the ending!
  7. A review of an animated film based on a children's television programme would be likely to address which audience?
    Although the audience for animated films is children, the reviews are aimed at the parents who will be more likely to read them before choosing a film to see with their children
  8. What would a reviewer be implying by calling a film a 'supposed comedy'?
  9. Which of the following is true?
    The reader is more likely to trust a review which is neither 100% positive nor 100% negative
  10. A review of a video game would most likely be aimed at which audience?
    Although any of these people might buy a video game, the style, tone and language used in game reviews shows them to be aimed at teens and young adults

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